PREVIEW: Minnesota United FC vs San Antonio Scorpions
Week nine of NASL play is sure to be heated as Minnesota United FC (3W-2T-3L, 11 pts) welcome the San Antonio Scorpions (1W-1T-6L, 4 pts) to the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN. Each clubs returns to action Saturday, September 28 coming off of critical victories. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.
Last Sunday, Minnesota came away with three points against FC Edmonton, ending the Eddies 6 game unbeaten streak. United midfielder Calum Mallace got his club on the score sheet with the NASL Goal of the Week, a dipping volley that found the back of the net in the 37th minute.
After a solid start in the first half with plenty of United possession, Minnesota looked to build from the midfield and create dangerous plays with the likes of Pablo Campos, Simone Bracallelo and Calum Mallace. Bracalello doubled the advantage with a flukey goal in the goal in the 62nd minute. The Eddies pulled one back in stoppage-time, but United were able to hold on for the points.
San Antonio comes to Minnesota enjoying a feeling they have yet to experience in the 2013 NASL Fall Season, coming away with three points after with a win over the Carolina RailHawks. Forward, Hans Denissen was the hero after scoring a late penalty kick winner in stoppage-time at Toyota Field. The goal came after a handball that forced the referee to award a penalty kick to the Scorpions. It was a perfect opportunity to win late in the game, and Denissen took full advantage.
Minnesota will be hungry for a second straight win this Saturday as it strives to rain on the opposition’s parade and take away three important points to stay in the race for the 2013 NASL Soccer Bowl.
“The league has a ton of parity. And so for them, they’re coming off a win. But for us, it’s all about this home weekend.” Said Minnesota head coach Manny Lagos, “We have unfortunately dropped some points at home where we maybe should have won. And now we really have to show that we can become a good home team. The guys showed some great play on the road in Edmonton, and we have to follow that up with a solid game this weekend at home.”
The last encounter between both sides was at Toyota Field in San Antonio on August 31 which resulted in a thrilling stoppage-time, game-winning goal from United defender, Connor Tobin. Pablo Campos tallied two goals in the match, giving United an early lead, only to see the Scorpions draw level with two quick goals. The post-match activities led to several suspensions, United forward Pablo Campos was suspended for a match for his altercation, while Scorpions forward Esteban Bayona was suspended two matches and midfielder Kevin Harmse was suspended for 6 matches. This is fast becoming a heated rivalry, and this weekend should prove to be another solid chapter.
Minnesota will look to build off a strong performance and continue their winning ways this Saturday. A win, along with some favorable results from other contests can potentially pull United to within one point of the NASL league leaders.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CDT. Come early for tailgating and stay after the game for the Budweiser Post Game Party in the Beer Garden. Tickets are available leading into gameday at MNUnitedFC.com or by calling 763.331.8777 or at the Box Office on gameday starting at 12:30.
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